Champagne’s future markets: #5 Singapore23rd January, 2013 by Rupert Millar
Like South Korea, Singapore doesn’t receive as much attention as it perhaps deserves.
This is all the more inexcusable since it is one of the leading Asian markets and, like Hong Kong, because of a legacy of British colonialism, far more advanced in its vinous tastes. Let us not forget that The Wine Advocate’s new investor is from Singapore.
More importantly though, its Champagne imports went up again in 2011 just outpacing China at 20% to grow to 1.4m bottles.
What is exciting about a market like Singapore is that while it still has volume growth to exploit, it is also a market becoming sufficiently developed to begin diversifying into different styles – something that many Champenois are very happy to see happening in Japan, for example.
Value, diversification and appreciation are just as important traits and trends to cultivate as massive volume growth, more so in fact.
Singapore has a population of some 5 million and an expat community approaching 300,000. It welcomes over 10m tourists a year, a figure that has been projected to rise to around 17m by 2015. It is also an English speaking market, with most Singaporeans fluent in both English and Chinese, Malay or Tamil.
It may not be the tax free hub that Hong Kong turned itself into in 2008 and the rate of SPD$70 on each litre of imported wine hits the entry level hard. However, the finer end of the wine market is less affected (which suits Champagne) and VAT remains at a lowly 7%.